On Wednesday, rap duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and four of their fans filed a lawsuit against the FBI for labeling the group and its followers as a gang.
ICP’s fans also refer to as ‘Juggalos,’ have been targeted ever since the FBI labeled them as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in 2011's National Gang Threat Assessment.
ICP is notorious for their painted faces, explicit music content and most of all, their trendy clothing and tattoos. One symbol in particular is the “hatchet man”, which illustrates a cartoon figure carrying a hatchet in a running position.
Just last year, one of their performances involved the death of a fan who overdosed on heroine. Many arrests have been made at ICP concerts for drug soliciting.
Some ICP followers have broken the law but the rap pair, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, asserts that their movement does not endorse violence but instead hopeful themes that promote support among Juggalo members. (image)
However, this isn’t the fist lawsuit launched by the group.
In 2012, ICP requested that the FBI release any documentation that categorized their followers as lawbreakers.
This was in response to an increase of law enforcement towards ICP fans. Their lawsuit was dismissed in August.
Now with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, ICP strives to protect the reputation of those fans that have been unjustifiably targeted by the law.
This case in particular involves four ICP supporters, not to mention with absolutely clean records, who have previously faced not so lucky encounters with the police. Coincidently, all have been targeted for wearing the group’s paraphernalia.
One man was denied entrance into the Army because of his "Juggalo" tattoo, even after he had them covered by new drawings.
The U.S. Justice System has not yet responded to the complaints.
A portion of the lawsuit reads as follow:
“Among the supporters of almost any group -- whether it be a band, sports team, university, political organization or religion -- there will be some people who violate the law. However, it is wrong to designate the entire group of supporters as a criminal gang based on the acts of a few. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here…Many people view Juggalos as nonconformists because of their musical tastes, their practice of painting their faces to look like clowns, and the distinctive Juggalo symbols -- including the 'hatchet man' logo -- that they often display on their clothing, jewelry, body art and bumper stickers," the suit said. "Yet when Juggalos come together at concerts or their annual week-long gathering every summer, they know that they are in a community where all people are equal and where they will be accepted and respected for who they are."
Do you think this lawsuit is reasonable?
Here is a recent interview that ICP did with CNN: